Thursday, April 30, 2015

Breaking the stigma by breaking the seal

Bloody magazine! The ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland partnered with the progressive men's magazine Vangardist to produce a cover whose ink is infused with HIV-positive blood. This, according to a story in FishbowlNY. 

The magazine carries no  risk of infection, but does carry a significant possibility of provoking a debate about the stigma that still attaches to the disease. Originally launched in  2015 as a digital-only publication, Vangardist produced the print
issue to coincide with Life Ball, an annual AIDS charity event in Vienna. It also produced a Facebook page HIV Heroes, and together with the hashtag #HIVHeroes, is hoping to foster renewed online support and discussion. 


Each designated copy of the German and English-language publication comes wrapped in plastic and includes a note that reads: ‘Break the seal and help break the stigma.’ Commented Vangardist publisher and CEO Julian Wiehl: 
“With 80% more confirmed cases of HIV being recorded in 2013 than ten years previously, and an estimated 50% of HIV cases being detected late due to lack of testing caused by social stigma associated with the virus, this felt like a very relevant issue for us to focus on not just editorially but also from a broader communications stand point.”

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